One of the things we cover on my kitchen table Facebook courses is privacy. We talk about keeping your personal profile separate from your business page. We talk about how you choose your friends on Facebook. If we need to, we’ll go into your privacy settings with you to make sure you’re comfortable with how to change things and what people can see.
In the last 24 hrs I’ve had the ‘don’t click on a friend request from Jayden K Smith’ message brought to my attention several times. Some have come with links to sites with names that I’m not sure I trust, some as just the message.
Now, in true DigitalJen ‘keeping it real’ style – hang on a minute! I’m even using red to make you read it properly.
At what point did you start accepting friend requests on Facebook from people you don’t know????
Now, some people use their Facebook personal profile as a kind of business network. It certainly helps people see your posts as you’re not so bound by the Facebook page algorithms. If you do this, and it works for you, great. But – please, keep your personal stuff off there. Don’t show those people where you are on holiday, that you’re out for a boozy lunch or embark on a personal or political rant. If you’ve got business connections seeing your personal stuff and it’s not all ‘on brand’ – you’re not doing your business any good.
Even if you do use Facebook in this business network way, are you going to connect with someone who have never met or have no idea who they are? I really hope not.
Choose your friends on Facebook
Choose is the key word in this statement. Just because someone’s sent you a friend request doesn’t mean you have to accept it. See that little “delete request” button? It’s there to be used.
If you’re not comfortable with the person sending you a friend request seeing what you usually post on Facebook, don’t accept it. If you think it’s going to cause business friction, it’s time to have a conversation with them. I’ve just sent people a direct message before saying “thanks for the friend request, I try and keep my personal profile separate to work and it would be lovely if you could like my page instead <insert your page link>” Everyone I’ve done this to has been incredibly understanding and it’s probably enhanced our professional relationship – ethics, trust, keeping things professional – rather than crossing the line between work and home.
Over time some colleagues have become friends and we do share our personal lives via Facebook. But I always check first.
Don’t take it personally
If you’ve sent a friend request and it hasn’t been accepted, especially if you’re trying to connect in a professional capacity, don’t take it personally. Follow their page. Talk to them in person. Connect on LinkedIn. They might not want you to see pictures of their kids. Or what hellish family situation they’re in at the moment. Or something else.
What about being friends to be a page admin?
Fair point. Facebook wants people to be friends before they share the admin rights to a page. There’s logic in this. But if you’re not comfortable with them seeing your family stuff, be friends, make them the page admin and then disconnect on the friend level. Choose your friends wisely.
So, Jayden K Smith. If you send me a friend request I’m not going to accept it anyway. I don’t know you. End of.
If you’d like to know more about using Facebook for your business, our next course is on Thursday 21st September at 9.30 round the DigitalJen kitchen table. You can book here and you’ll also find details of the next Canva courses and social media courses that we’re running.